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Some Random Thoughts

Posted by on Mar 20, 2009

I won’t be doing this all that often, but I’ve had some random thoughts that I wanted to put out there, mainly to get them off my chest, but to see what you think about them. More personal stuff, but let’s see where it all goes.

I’m wondering if it’s time to change how we treat certain criminal acts. Most of the time people are sent to jail for what I deem are more emotional acts than criminal acts. Does it really behoove us to put someone in jail for 10 to 25 years on a first time drunk driving offense that kills someone, or putting someone in jail for 3 to 5 years for marijuana possession? I’m not saying don’t punish them in some fashion, but it’s costly putting these folks in with the really, really bad guys. There has to be options that still punish, but make these people still contribute something to society, and potential victims, in other ways, doesn’t it?

Also, something different has to be done with released sexual predators. Right now, even if they serve their entire sentence, they’re harassed wherever they go when released, can’t get jobs, can’t live here or there, and thus what options do they really have outside of prison? Once again, not saying we don’t punish these people for their crimes, but there has to be a better way of handling this issue.

In New York, Governor Patterson is taking heat from many sides because he’s proposed cutting different types of programs across the board, and taxing this thing or that thing that someone else determines they don’t like. There are even commercials being produced against him from different organizations. Thing is, no one wants to be affected, but no one has offered up anyone else for cuts, or come up with another way to do things. Everyone always wants to protect their own piece of the pie, but when everyone’s hurting, no one deserves to be protected way more than anyone else. Fairness has to be maintained in some way. Isn’t it time people who decide to complain about something offer up something else as a legitimate alternative?

The same goes for President Obama. He’s bee in office exactly two months, and everyone feels he should have solved every problem in the world, let alone the United States, that took 8 years to mess up. No one can truthfully say he hasn’t reached out to the other party, yet they’ve found that, for the first time in eight years, they can bind together almost unanimously to try to upset the process; so much for bipartisanship. Get over it, Republicans; you lost the election, and your popularity as a party is tumbling drastically as you subconsciously have appointed Rush Limbarf as the leader of your party. The Republican party is quickly heading towards separating into a southern states versus everyone else who wants to be considered as a Republican, and, if no one’s been paying attention, that’s happened before in history; anyone remember the Federalist party? For that matter anyone remember that many of today’s southern Republicans used to be democrats? You’re close to becoming a non-entity, like religion; anyone seen the stats on religion in America lately? Those who consider themselves as being part of a religion is as close to becoming a minority as it can get; give it ten more years. Both of y’all better get it together, or you’ll be, as the original Star Trek alluded to, “dunseled”.

What’s with this rash of two new sets of killers, the ones who decide to take out a bunch of people before offing themselves, and these guys who decide their entire families must be killed before offing themselves? Is there really anyone left who can legitimately say they don’t believe gun control is a good thing? Is anyone else getting tired of hearing “he was so quiet” when they really mean “he was that weird kid who sat all by himself because people picked on him”? Anyone notice it’s always men? I’m not in school, but someone’s not paying attention to what’s going on anymore, and parents are as much to blame for not knowing what’s going on with their kids as anyone, in my opinion. I’m thinking we need more Boys and Girls Clubs, and some more proactive punishment against bullies. Using the excuse “they’re just acting like kids” isn’t going to get it done anymore.

And, as a sidebar gripe, what’s with the ones who keep forgetting that babies aren’t Sketch-o-Matics and try to shake them quiet (and they end up quiet for good)? How did this get to be a modern phenomenon, and who started this mess, since we all believe that this type of behavior is learned?

Isn’t it about time that these men who believe hitting women is a good thing (yeah, it’s their fault because they made you mad; punks) should be getting a little bit of “an eye for an eye” and be put in a lineup of all women to be slapped and kicked, like a fraternity initiation? By the way, I’m against that mess also, as more and more young adults, who must have a great sense of need to put themselves through stupid mess like that, are getting themselves either killed or seriously hurt? Hazing; a fancy word for bullying.

I doubt the show Entertainment Tonight goes around the world, but am I the only one who noticed, and was disappointed, that they wouldn’t even use the name of one of the competitors on their show, Nancy O’Dell, who was a competitor on Dancing With The Stars (no, I don’t watch it), just because she works for a competing show? If she hadn’t gotten hurt and had made it into the final group of competitors, would they have just stopped covering the show in its entirety? And, since she’s going to be up for competing on the next reiteration of the show, will they continue this stupidity?

Has anyone really been paying attention to the weather? Europe had some very nasty weather this winter; hurricanes and typhoons are getting stronger and coming more often; some areas have more drought, some areas have more floods; we’re hearing of more firestorms than ever before; tornadoes have lost their mind! Does anyone who’s under the age of 40 other than Elizabeth Hasselbeck really believe global warming isn’t upon us? Have you heard how much glaciers have receded, how much ice has withdrawn from both Greenland and Iceland, lakes and some rivers have disappeared in Russia, and there’s actually land being seen in Antarctica and the North Pole? Have you heard that not only is the hole in the ozone getting bigger, but there’s a second one forming? Incidences of skin cancer are jumping, folks; I hope we’re not too late to save the environment from catastrophe.

I’m going to make a case that there’s something happening with our foods that are changing humans in interesting ways. Right now, the average height for women is 5′ 5 1/2″. In 1981, the average height for women was 5′ 3 1/2″. At the turn of the 20th century, the average height for women was 5′ even. The average height for men is now 5′ 10″; back in 1981, it was 5′ 8 1/2″. At the turn of the 20th century, the average height for men was 5′ 4″. There are women who are suffering from bone loss who eat lots of vegetables, yet don’t seem to get any Vitamin D from it. There are higher incidences of people with heart problems and clogged arteries now, yet at the beginning of the 20th century they ate more fat than we do now and weighed less, had fewer heart ailments, and little illnesses related to cholesterol problems. Yet, on average we live longer. We’re changing at a much faster rate as far as evolution goes than Darwin ever predicted. At 6′ 1/2″, I used to be considered tall; now there are 14 and 15 year old girls taller than me. It’s unnatural what’s going on, but I don’t know enough about biology or nutrition to have an answer as to why. But it’s somewhat scary if you ask me.

And finally, one back to what we usually talk about. I’ve written comments on fewer blogs lately, but it’s not because I have less to say. It’s because I’ve been taking a little bit more time lately in looking at people’s blogs and some of the products they market, because I figure everyone’s taken time to put some of these things up, so why not stop and take a look at some of them. I’m still wondering how many of you are actually taking time to check out other people’s about pages. Many of us want to make money, and we want people to visit our blogs and read what we have to say. I’m realizing that, even with all the content I’m putting out there, I’m not honoring other people if I don’t take some time to at least look at what they’re doing and putting up. For instance, how many of you have noticed the types of things Sire has at the bottom of his Wassup Blog (though lots of things change, I noticed something there that I’m thinking my wife might like)? Or even a site like Uber Affiliate, who has things he’s advertising that look like a lot of what we have, but every ad he has is something I’ve never seen elsewhere before (at least I don’t remember it)? In the end, it is supposed to be all about us, or can we still learn something by seeing what someone else has on their site?

Why is there so much hate towards poor people? How come not enough people commented on this post on poverty on Blog Action Day? I hate that, whenever anyone talks about either welfare or Medicaid that suddenly it’s open season on the poor. People are always saying that poor people should just get jobs and go to work. How smug are some of you feeling now that unemployment is moving towards an all time high? How many people can care for their families in today’s world when minimum wage is only $6.55 an hour, especially if they have kids? If they were allowed to work and still get some assistance, even only another $2.50 an hour from the government, they might have a realistic chance at a basis living in America, but those aren’t the rules? Instead of talking about welfare mothers, why not come up with a way to train them and have daycare so they can leave their kids with someone competent, learn a nice job skill that may pay them more money, then help them find work, instead of deriding them? And, by the way, for those who use “welfare mothers” and think of minorities first, 2/3rds of all welfare mothers in America are white.

I think I’ve ranted enough. These are short takes on topics that I could probably expound on for a long time, but we don’t need to go there. I’m interested in your thoughts, believe it or not, because, though I have my opinions, I know some of you have other opinions, or things you’d like to say. I’m betting this one will be a spammer’s dream; don’t worry, I’ll eliminate all of it. 😀


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Wow – I tell you what, Mitch, you certainly do a lot of thinking about a wide variety of topics and issues!

As you say, any one of those issues would make an interesting discussion in itself, so I’ll stick to commenting about two or three of them for now.

(1) I like your point about looking down upon those who are in a difficult financial position. I remember very early on in my career, I personally experienced a considerable degree of difficulty in finding suitable employment, and I had several positions for which it turned out that I was not suitable. As a result, I was a recipient of social security benefits on an on and off basis for about a year and a half.

During that time, I completely resented the perception of the unemployed as lazy ‘dole bludgers.’ Indeed in my own case, nothing could have been further from the truth, particularly as I was actively sending out job applications on a daily basis as well as doing volunteer work and continuing to advance my professional studies.

I wasn’t being lazy, I was just going through a challenging period. And the same applies with respect to the vast number of people who I personally know who have experienced the misfortune of unemployment in recent times.

(2) Any form of physical abuse of a woman is completely unacceptable in any circumstances.

Whilst I would say that men don’t have to tolerate any form of physical abuse from women, and are entitled to use a reasonable degree of force to prevent this from occurring, any act of physical aggression from the part of men toward women is completely should not be tolerated.

(3) Whilst Barrack Obama did make big promises and create a big expectation during the election campaign, I have little empathy with those who expected him to somehow wave a magic wand and solve America’s problems overnight, much less those of the world.

Andrew´s last blog post..‘Do not call’ means don’t call

March 20th, 2009 | 8:18 PM

Thanks for your POV, Andrew, and I’m glad we agree on things. I’ve had some tough financial times myself, but I remember this one time many years ago seeing this woman working at the unemployment office looking down on people putting in for benefits, and I was thinking “I was making twice as much as you and never looked down on anyone.” One never knows when it could be them, right?

March 20th, 2009 | 11:08 PM
Boyz II Men:

This is going to be a tough post to reply to since you talk about so many different things. So I’m going to just tackle it segment by segment as I find time to read.

Starting with your talk on prison sentences, I think the whole system needs to be reformed. I’m a firm believer in forgiveness, believing that nothing comes from acts of revenge. However, I feel like our prison system is largely set-up to “punish” prisoners.

I don’t know the proper solution but I’m of the mindset of trying to use prisons to convert inmates to become safe contributors to society, not making them suffer for what in some cases, WOULD have been an isolated mistake (until prison makes them BAD). Again, I don’t know how we can accomplish this yet but I’d like to see some movements towards it.

A good example is the man Denzel Washington plays in The Hurricane. I don’t remember his name honestly but he was put in jail for a murder which was eventually overturned on accounts of problems in his trial. Since then, the man has gone on to be an advocate for children in Canada and is living a great life helping society. Yet, people still cry that he’s a murderer and that he should still be in jail. Honestly, who cares if he did the crime or not? If he’s reformed and is a different person today, THATS what we should focus on.

A similar case is Mumia Abu-Jamal. The man might be guilty for things in the past, but he’s clearly a good man today that doesn’t belong in a jail cell. Can we just free him already?

March 20th, 2009 | 8:19 PM

Matt, you’re thinking of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, and a lot of these guys eventually turn out to do good acts. There have been points brought up as to whether either of the men you mentioned were fully guilty of what they were convicted of, that’s for sure. I will say this, though; regardless, I’m with you that I wish more of these people went for learning rather than pumping iron and getting more powerful, that’s for sure.

March 20th, 2009 | 11:12 PM
Boyz II Men:

Yea, I was in a rush and wasn’t able to luck up his name. My point is that people shouldn’t be so caught up on whether or not they committed their crimes but instead, on the fact that they’ve reformed and they’re different people today. I think the prison system itself drives people more towards this pumping iron and gang mentality and doesn’t help move inmates towards learning and becoming successful people.

March 20th, 2009 | 11:18 PM

The problem is that if prison is not seen as a deterrent I feel that even more people will take the easy road if the punishment for a crime is too lenient.

Sire´s last blog post..Thesis Theme Is Just Not Flexible Enough

March 22nd, 2009 | 12:35 AM

I think there are different layers of punishment, Sire. For instance, if someone gets life, that’s one thing. If you’re planning on letting people out at some point, however, you don’t do anyone any favors if you don’t try to give them some kind of job skills, and some of those job skills are dependent on education. That, plus prisons are violent places, and if one could find a way to diffuse that tension, they would be more safe, and when those people came out they’d be less violent also.

March 22nd, 2009 | 12:58 AM

Perhaps if they could segregate the prisoners so you don’t put those in for say speeding with rapists and murderers.

Sire´s last blog post..Thesis Theme Is Just Not Flexible Enough

March 22nd, 2009 | 1:23 AM

I got rid of one of those for you, since you pretty much wrote the same thing. lol

And what you’ve said here is exactly my point. We actually do have different degrees of prisons, but I don’t think we apply them properly, nor do we have enough of the lesser ones. But we should; trust me, confinement is confinement, unless you’re confined to staying in your own house and are allowed to have TV and a computer.

March 22nd, 2009 | 1:26 AM
Boyz II Men:

Okay, I think I can cover the rest of the things I want to respond to in this comment!

1 – Governor Patterson
Unfortunately, I don’t follow a lot about him, but I can’t get over all the fuss about him allowing Wine to be sold in grocery stores. Is this really that bad/weird of a thing? If they can sell beer, why not also sell wine? People complain because it will put liquor stores out of business. Well, should we ban Best Buy from selling TVs so we can create jobs in TV outlets?

People will still go to liquor stores. A) Selection at the grocery store will be limited. B) People like the service at liquor stores of having someone tell them what wine to buy.

2 – Global Warming
This is something that bothers me, largely because it gets no coverage. How come the media will report on something extensively for months and then it just disappears. It’s not just Global Warming but the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Honestly, it’s like the media knows people have a short attention span so they ride it out and then drop it off the earth. We need more coverage. Not necessarily in your face coverage but more articles providing the information about the things going on around us.

3 – The Poor
I have challenges here. The biggest problem I have is welfare, but only because my mom’s family has a few deadbeats in it that take advantage of the system and collect for no other reason than that they can. However, I’m in full support of having welfare. Not everyone CAN get the luck and opportunities that the rest of us get and it’s unfair to scoff/judge someone you don’t know. And providing them with a base income can help cut crime as we’re giving them a means.

People saying stuff about poor people is just like being racist or prejudice. You’re making broad comments about a group of people. That’s not cool

March 20th, 2009 | 11:15 PM

I think the argument on wine is minor, but obviously the people who care really, really care.

I think the media doesn’t keep reporting it because it’s not there visible to them on a consistent basis. However, every time there are big weather events, suddenly they’re calling the Ph.D’s who talk about it, rattle people for awhile, then it’s over until the next big event. It’s kind of like why they don’t report on people aging.

True, there are some deadbeats everywhere, but that’s not really the norm in America. You probably read Andrew’s story; it literally can happen to anyone at any time. In either case, though, someone needs to encourage the deadbeats as much as anyone to contribute in some fashion.

March 20th, 2009 | 11:30 PM

Exactly right, Mitch.

These types of people never know when they, themselves might be in need of assistance.

Unemployment happens to many diligent folks from time to time.

Andrew´s last blog post..‘Do not call’ means don’t call

March 20th, 2009 | 11:30 PM

Man that is quite a list Mitch. In regards to the drink drivers, do they really get 10 – 25 years for a first offense? It does seem a little steep. Certainly some jail time but not that much. Perhaps an early release with a lot of community service.

As to release sexual predators, I feel that they pretty much got what they had coming to them and society should know who they are as a lot of them re offend. Sure it makes life difficult for them, but then they should have thought of that before they did what they did.


Sire´s last blog post..Thesis Theme Is Just Not Flexible Enough

March 22nd, 2009 | 12:33 AM

In some cases Sire, yes, especially if someone was killed, that’s the kind of time they do get.

As for the other, I just can’t go along with that. We can’t let these people out and then not give them a chance to have a place to live or have a chance to make a living. When we do, we just push them back into the behavior and then back into prison. All I’m looking for is some balance and equity; the American way is supposed to be you do the time, you get out, you’re given a second chance to do right. These people don’t end up having a chance to do anything with their lives, which means the states have to then pick up the tab for them with government programs.

Did you have more to say, since your last word was “now”?

March 22nd, 2009 | 1:06 AM

Perhaps you can delete my double comment. Don’t know what happened there. As for sexual predators, I’m all for second chances, but the problem is that if stats show they re offend then I reckon people have the right to know if one lives nearby. Sort of a catch 22 isn’t it?

Sire´s last blog post..Thesis Theme Is Just Not Flexible Enough

March 22nd, 2009 | 1:26 AM

One of the problems with statistics, Sire, is that sometimes people will glom onto one stat and continue quoting it, without really looking at everything. For instance, statistics say that sex offenders were about four times more likely than non-sex offenders to be arrested for another sex crime after their discharge from prison –– 5.3 percent of sex offenders versus 1.3 percent of non-sex offenders. But then, the stats also say that sex offenders were less likely than non-sex offenders to be rearrested for any offense –– 43 percent of sex offenders versus 68 percent of non-sex offenders.

So, with the new knowledge, it shows that sex offenders are less likely than other criminals to commit any crimes at all; that’s what I mean by balance. We let Joe Murderer out because he pleaded to manslaughter, but he’s more likely to do something bad to someone then Joe Sex Offender. If we’re going to watch one, we have to watch them all. If we’re not going to do that, then segregating one group out for another is troublesome. Here’s kind of my point. I believe the police should know, I believe these folks should register, and by federal law they have to put down on job applications that they were in prison, and what for.

Oh yeah, one last stat; fewer than 40% of sex offenders will re=offend within fifteen-to-twenty years after being released. It’s still high and scary, but it’s nothing close to this 90% figure I’ve heard bandied about for years. And, I will add one more thing; I do believe child molesters should end up with life sentences so that we don’t have to worry about their “well being”; that one should be a no brainer.

March 22nd, 2009 | 1:38 AM

Sorry Mitch,I actually took sex offenders as child molesters and I think that is where my confusion was. Two entirely different situations.

March 22nd, 2009 | 1:55 AM

They tend to get grouped together here also, Sire, but like other crimes, there are variations on the theme. Even with children, I see a difference between doing stuff to children under 12, I’d say, where those folks should never get out, and an 18 year old with a 14 year old, where now the 18 year old would go to jail and have to register as a sex offender, but I don’t quite see it the same way as, to me, both were still kids. It’s those gray areas in the criminal system that someone should define, then handle differently.

March 22nd, 2009 | 7:54 AM

Mitch, You’ve giving me alot to consider here. I feel like I’m really getting to know you. Post like this let you peer through your screen into people’s soul’s a little bit. Thanks for “imjustsharing” brother!

March 22nd, 2009 | 12:39 PM

Thanks for your comment, Brandon. In my own way, I’m an open book. The stuff I keep secret,… well, you wouldn’t want to know anyway. 😉

March 22nd, 2009 | 1:29 PM